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About Valtrex

If you use Valtrex, please help others by adding your feedback. What would you tell your best friend about this product? Please remember that we do not give medical advice. That is for your local health care provider, who is familiar with your medical history.

Subj: Cold sore engagement
Date: 7/23/2009
I have a cold sore blister on my lip, it came full force overnight and I was prescribes valtrex that next morning. I recently became engaged and I'm having a party to celebrate on Saturday, it's Thursday now, will it be gone by then?
cold sore engagement

AskDocWeb: Although you may notice some progress, it is highly unlikely that the cold sore would be completely healed in just two days.

Subj: Shingles behind ear
Date: 7/27/2009
I have Shingles behind my right ear & down the right side of my neck. I've been on Valtrex for four days & have to take it for three more. I woke up this morning with a very painful left ear. It looks normal, but hurts all the time. Is it related to the Valtrex?

AskDocWeb: No, it is more likely to be a viral infection inside the ear so tell your doctor about this.

Subj: Liver enzyme abnormalities
Date: 7/28/2009
I have been on valtrex suppressive for 4 years with a liver test every year. This time my liver test came back with a high (Gamma Glutamyl Transferase ) GGT, 72 previously on 52. My doctor said valtrex would not change this enzyme in my liver and it is probably the amount of liquor I drink. What do you think, can valtrex cause a high Gamma Glutamyl Transferase (GGT)?

AskDocWeb: We have heard the same story of increased liver enzymes from people who do not drink. There is a possibility of developing liver enzyme abnormalities but it seems to be rare.

Subj: Dry eyes?
Date: 7/30/2009
I wear contacts, have for 21 years. I have been taking valtrex for 31 days now. In that time my contact have been really bothering me. Is there a chance that the valtrex is drying my eyes.

AskDocWeb: Valtrex doesn't affect the eyes or vision but the herpes virus can cause a couple of different eye problems; chorioretinitis, swelling of the eye, and keratitis, inflammation of the cornea of the eye.

Subj: Other medicines or remedies?
Date: 8/5/2009
I have tried to take valtrex for my herpes type 2 and breakout in hives all over my body. I have gotten two breakouts in the last 4 months and am wondering if there are other medicines or remedies that I can use.

AskDocWeb: Vidarabine (Vira-A) is sometimes used as an alternative, but it is much less effective.

Ethyl chrloride or Xylocaine cream may help for very painful sores.

Then there is topical penciclovir cream. Topical penciclovir heals lesions, eases pain and stops the spread of infection. In large randomized trials it has demonstrated that it shortens the duration of herpes lesions, as well as the duration of pain, by about 1 day. That's not as great a benefit, but it's certainly another alternative. Patients apply the penciclovir cream to lesions every 2 hours for up to 4 days.

There is antidotal evidence that some people get good results from Lysine (500mg daily), an amino acid, to control herpes flare-ups. Other self-help treatments include Vitamin C (1000mg with Bioflavonoids per day), Vitamin E, daily zinc, aloe vera applied to the sore, and taking Garlic (12 tabs at outbreak onset then 4 tabs every 4-6 hours).

Please note there are some health concerns with using garlic.

Subj: Tingling feeling
Date: 8/10/2009
I started taking daily Valtrex as a supressant three weeks ago. I've had both types of herpes for 10 years. I started taking Valtrex a few days after an oral outbreak. They usually only last a week or two, but now it's coming up on four weeks that this one has lasted- not sores, but the tingling feeling that usually precedes an outbreak. Not sure if I should discontinue use or wait it out. Thank you.

AskDocWeb: Rather than making the decision on your own, talk to your doctor first.

Subj: How long till I feel better
Date: 8/11/2009
I just found out that I might have herpes went to dr. n she perscribe me valtrex 1gm so I just took my first dose.. how long till I feel better and for it to go away?

AskDocWeb: You may start noticing an improvement with a day or two and most of the pain should be gone in about five days.

Subj: Heightened burning of my skin
Date: 8/12/2009
I am presently taking radiation treatments for breast cancer can the side effects of this drug cause me to be suseptible to a heightened burning of my skin as some drugs do this, they tell you to stay out of sunlight when taking certain drugs is this one of them?

AskDocWeb: Yes, that heightened sensitivity to sunlight, called photosensitivity, is listed as an uncommon side effect of Valtrex.

Subj: Shingles
Date: 8/19/2009
I have been on Valtrex for suppression purposes for the past 6 years!!! I have tried several times to just stop taking it but within 2 mos. my shingles comes back. I try all kinds of "less stress" techniques, but nothing works for any long period except to stay on the valtrex. I really do have concerns with this medication for so long, but the shingles are sometimes just unbearable... what else can a person do. This websight has shown me that there are many others that suffers from these types of flareups.

AskDocWeb: Applying we compresses (using Burow's solution or cool tap water) for 15 to 30 minutes 5 to 10 times a day is useful to break vesicles and remove serum and crust. Good hygiene is important to prevent secondary bacterial infections. Other drugs used in the treatment of shingles include Gabapentin, Lidocaine patch (Lidoderm), foscarnet, capsaicin cream (Zostrix), and corticosteroids.

Subj: Hair loss
Date: 8/19/2009
I recently found out that I have genital herpes and just started taking Valtrex yesterday for the first time. I've reading all the side effects and the comments from everyone and the one that concerns me the most is the hair loss. Is there anything I can take to counteract the hair loss such as a supplement, prenatal vitamins, etc?

AskDocWeb: There is a very good chance that hair loss will not be a problem while you are taking Valtrex. Less than one percent have that particular side effect. If it becomes a problem you might try something like Nisim Biofactors, a shampoo that fights hair loss.

Subj: Bloatedness and achy stomach
Date: 8/31/2009
I was given Valtrex (1 Gm 3 times/day for 7 days) for the Shingles. My opinion is every day I used it, it bothered my stomach more. By the last day I was up till 4am with bloatedness / achy stomach. I think the pain from Valtrex was definately worse than the Shingles itself.

Subj: Immune to Valtrex
Date: 9/6/2009
I was just wondering, I have taken Valtrex for years, now my doctor thinks I have become immuned to Valtrex, How can that happen and if that is the case, what other medicines are out there that are as good. I am scared. I have not had this bad an outbreak for 30 years when I had my first. What do you recommend? Right now they upped my dose to 1000 mg twice a day I am on my third day and still my outbreak is there and I have a fever.

AskDocWeb: If an alternative is needed, we recommend letting your doctor chose which alternative to Valtrex (valacyclovir hydrochloride) to use. Alternatives include Famvir (famciclovir) and Zovirax (Acyclovir).

Subj: How long is it safe
Date: 9/7/2009
I am taking 500 mg Valtrex daily for suppression purposes and it is working. No side effects except a slight rash on my back which may or may not have been due to the Valtrex. As soon as I quit the taking the Valtrex, I start having sores again. How long is it safe to continue 500 mg daily therapy, months or years?

AskDocWeb: According to the Physician's Desk Reference (2008), the safety and efficacy of Valtrex usage beyond 1 year has not been established. An upper limit on how long you can safely use Valtrex has yet to be set.

Subj: Side affect to baby?
Date: 9/8/2009
I am 36 weeks pregnant and my doctor has just advice that I take valtrex 500mg for my shingles, I would like to know if it will have any side affect to my baby. I need to know please.

AskDocWeb: Valtrex is in the FDA pregnancy category B which means that it is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. What is a concern is that the herpes virus can be passed from an infected mother to the baby during childbirth. If you have genital herpes, it is important to prevent herpes lesions during your pregnancy so that you do not have a genital lesion when your baby is born.

Subj: Weakening affect on birth control?
Date: 9/9/2009
Does Valtrex have a weakening affect on birth control the way that antibiotics can? Thanks in advance.

AskDocWeb: No, Valtrex has no affect on the effectiveness of birth control pills.

Subj: Behavior and mood swings?
Date: 9/9/2009
Does valtrex affect behavior and mood swings?

AskDocWeb: A small percentage of Valtrex users (less than 1%) may experience aggressive behavior, agitation, confusion, depression, hallucinations, or mania.

Subj: L lysine and calcium supplements
Date: 9/11/2009
Can I take l lysine with valtrex and how much l lysine is a normal starting dose? I take 500 mgs and stopped valtrex but gave my husband herpes so I think I need to go back on the valtrex. Also I read lysine increases calcium supplements what is a safe calcium dose to take as well? Thank you!

AskDocWeb: Readers report that taking 1000mg to 1500mg per day when an attack is coming on, and continue for 1 week, helps the problem clear up much faster. A safe and appropriate calcium dosage is a little more complicated and depends on several different factors, such as:
  • Any medical conditions you may have
  • How much calcium you get through food
  • The reason you take calcium
  • The type of calcium you take
  • Your age (recommended intake increases with age)
Calcium is one of the nutrients that can cause toxicity. Taking more than 2,500 mg (2.5 grams) of calcium daily on a regular basis may invite the formation of kidney stones. Determining a safe dose gets more complicated when you add to the above the fact that calcium doesn't just come as elemental calcium, it also comes as calcium carbonate, calcium chloride, calcium citrate, and calcium gluconate. These other forms of calcium have extra compounds that contribute to the weight of the product but not to the calcium content. For example, each 1000 mg of calcium carbonate contains only 400 mg of calcium and each 1000 mg of calcium citrate contains only 211 mg of calcium. We suggest you talk this over with your doctor to determine what dosage and form of calcium would be appropriate for you.

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright 2007-2009 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on Valtrex and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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